[maemo-community] maemo.org redesign

From: Tim tim at samoff.com
Date: Mon Oct 6 18:44:41 EEST 2008

	Just got another idea that I'll try to work on tonight. 

 Weblog ~ http://tim.samoff.com
 Kidblog ~ http://kc.samoff.com
 Photography ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff
 Film ~ http://www.youtube.com/timsamoff
 ----- Original Message -----
 Subject: Re: maemo.org redesign
 From:  Tim 
 To: "Dave Neary" ,"List for community development" 
 Date: 10/06/2008 8:11 am

	A couple of comments from me: 

	> I believe we're close to that at this stage - we have a quality
 > from Tim 

	(Although I wish we had a few more proposals from different people)
I think there needs to be one or two more iterations containing, at
least, a rough approximation of what everyone is asking for before we
proceed with integration. 

	> we have to go from design to web page, with Midgard 

	In my experience, every CMS requires a little bit of ramp up in
order to mold the design to the CMS's particularities... Even
Wordpress requires a little manual tweaking of certain items to get it
to conform to some designs. And, in my experience, Midgard is not the
easiest of the plethora of CMSes to do this with (although, my
experience is pretty slim regarding Midgard). I.e., dealing with
specific code tags, hard-coded design elements (if any), etc., always
present a variety of a$$-placed pains to designers. ;) 

	> Agreed, this would be the signed-in homepage 

	I still think there needs to be _one_ page for all users (signed-in
or not). Other info can appear on other pages (e.g., /home or

	> I hope we can all agree on what I proposed last week - maemo.org
is a
 > site aimed at potential Maemo community members 

	I hope this is the case... And, I (as a "community member" rather
than a "developer") hope we can keep our sights on this. In fact,
having and keeping a vision is the only way that this new dite will be
acheived in any form (usable or not). Which brings me to some random

	> http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?ts_mode=global&lang=none[1]

	Personally, as a "Web2.0" designer, I prefer sites like: 

     	*cssdrive.com[2]     	*cssbeauty.com[3]     	*cssheroes.com[4] 
	In any case, as you'll see, most of these center on simple,
beautiful design rather than information overload. And, as a designer,
I appreciate that sort of approach. 

	As a user, I might look a a few other types of sites (e.g., Flickr,
Facebook, Twitter -- just to name a few). These are _highly_ dynamic
sites that show little to know dynamic content on their home pages...
Of course, these are also sites that have separate pages for
logged-in/logged-out. (I can be persuaded.) :p 

	Of course, as a member of the Maemo Community, I understand that
there is a diverse mix of user-types and we need to appease, at
leaset, a couple of those: regular users & developers. So, there needs
to be something that draws each of those Maemo archetypes into the
community... A mix of simple, beautiful design and some
quasi-technical information as well. 

	This is why I tend to lean toward the first of my designs[5] a
little more than the second (admittedly knowing that it still needs
work). But, understanding the goals of Nokia Maemo, I think the second
design[6] is the way to proceed. Still, we need to think more simply.
We need to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who has very little
knowledge of what "Maemo" is. We need to be clear and succinct and
present first-time visitors with a clear path into the community
(i.e., an _extremely_ low wall of entry -- even lower than anyone who
is thoroughly immersed within Maemo might care to admit). 

	With this said, _my_ main goals (as a designer) are: 

     	*Fit important content (how to join community, some dev info,
how to download software) into browser window (with little/no
scrolling). Additional content can be accessed with scrolling or
maximizing the browser window.     	*Make as many clickable items
figer-clickable as possible.     	*Make is perty. ;) 
	Simple for me, eh? 

	But, the main goals of Nokia Maemo and the "community" add many more

     	*Make it dynamic (of which there are plenty of ways to do

         	*A variety of different downloads focuses (pearl, most
popular, highest rated, etc.).         	*User stats.         	*News.  
      	*etc.         	*Really... How many pieces of dynamic content
should really be on the home page?     

          	*Static header of some sort (which we haven't even agreed
on what the items in the header _should_ be -- and it's kind of hard
to design anything around a bunch of "potential" items.     

         	*So... What should these links be?     


         	*Or use the one I appropriated and changed slightly...?    

          	*RSS feeds...?     

         	*Like... Which items on the home page need specific feeds?
Or, should there just be one for the entire page?     


         	*We do need some sense of how this page will link to
maemo.org in order to design a cohesive link back to it.     

          	*General site language: All of the verbiage used so far is
either taken from the current site or penned by me... Of course,
anything can be designed around 'lorem ipsum,' but it's a little hard
to change an element that one word fits in to accomodate an entire

         	*"Pearl" or "Featured Download"         	*"Stars" or
"Highest Rated"         	*"News," "Latest News," "Community Chatter,"
"These are things that the community is talking about"...        
	*Static header content         	*etc.     
	I could probably go on, but I hope you'll see some of the challenges
that face any designer... Saying things like "so and so's mockup can
be changed to do this or that better" is always easier said --
especially when there is no 'real' content to base the statement off

	Yes, all designs can be changed... And, I hope they are (I'm an
advocate of critique and change with all of my work). But, as a paid
designer (in my real life), there are limits because of time/cost/etc.
In a volunteer environment, we can offer advice for change forever...
Which, imho, is not a good thing. 

	Rambling now? Yes. So... 

	How about if someone sits down and documents everything that
actually _needs_ to be on the home page (and, if needed, the signed-in
page as well). Capture the 'language' that needs to be used and the
links that need to be present. Be sure to keep simplicity and
finger-clickable buttons in mind (i.e., finger-clickable items --
being 'boxes' in a sense -- cannot contain as much text as something
that is just a text-link). 

	I've already done some of this, but no one has agreed on
everything... Someone needs to be the deciding voice so that whomever
the designer ends up being, they can just take the document and design
(the pages) around it without having to come up with things on their

	Sorry for the long-windedness,
 Weblog ~ http://tim.samoff.com[7]
 Kidblog ~ http://kc.samoff.com[8]
 Photography ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff[9]
 Film ~ http://www.youtube.com/timsamoff[10] ----- Original Message
 Subject: Re: maemo.org redesign
 From:  Dave Neary 
 To: "List for community development" 
 Date: 10/06/2008 2:50 am
 Quim Gil wrote:
 > ext Dave Neary wrote:
 >> I think we've gotten to the stage where we have most of a great
 >> and with one or two small refinements, I'm happy to start moving
on with
 >> implementation now - we have to go from design to web page,
 > Wait, wait. I wouldn't code a line before there is an agreement on
 > basic homepage mockup.
 I believe we're close to that at this stage - we have a quality
 from Tim, with some outstanding comments requesting relatively minor
 changes which will make it better. I reckon we can get a final
 >> with Midgard. 
 > You mean with pure and standard XHTML & CSS (and/or whatever web
 > we use). It's the CMS who has to adapt then to the layout, and not
 > other way around.
 Absolutely agree on HTML + CSS. For dynamic content, integrating RSS
 feeds is there already as far as I can tell, but each page including
 dynamic content needs to be hand-crafted.
 maemo.org docsmaster
 Email: dneary at maemo.org
 Jabber: bolsh at jabber.org
 maemo-community mailing list
 maemo-community at maemo.org
 maemo-community mailing list
 maemo-community at maemo.org

[2] http://cssdrive.com
[3] http://cssbeauty.com
[4] http://cssheroes.com
[7] http://tim.samoff.com
[8] http://kc.samoff.com
[9] http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff
[10] http://www.youtube.com/timsamoff

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